Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Success is Sometimes Measured in Commitment

So...the beginning of this week was a little rough for me. I got a
little bit discouraged. We have not taught people as frequently as I
have in my other areas, and although we have found new people to
teach... 13 in the last 8 weeks, only one of them is meeting with us-
once a week. I am putting much effort into my work, but one thing is for sure truth: God will give unto you success. You can do every big and little thing to try and be successful, but if it is not the right time or place, you won't be given success. That is why success most of the time is measured in our level of commitment, although is is hard to understand that sometimes. 

A few nights ago, Elder Willardson read a quote by John Pontious from one of his books. It basically said that while on his mission he had moments where he did not feel the spirit much, but still chugged along doing all he could. After a period of a few months with little results, he began to feel the spirit more abundantly, and new spiritual gifts came along with it. They found more people to teach. He said that stuff like this happens. The real test if we are willing to continue doing the little things, "if [we] are willing to serve God at all hazards". That will determine if we establish the church or not. Those few paragraphs that were read to me really lifted me up. The next morning I woke up and felt super motivated to be better. I felt the spirit strongly snd I felt enthusiastic. We had a miracle take place.

The back-story started last week when we visited the Flores family after they returned from their road trip to California. We shared a message and asked about their friends. They immediately thought of someone, but did not know exactly where he lived, but did know the street. So Thursday, we planned in to go find this hispanic on said street. We visited sister Flores again real quick to clarify the details, and she told us to let her know if anything happened. So we decided to first drive down the street and scout out which houses looked hispanic. Yes, we use stereotypes and we are usually on point when looking for hispanics haha. So we decided on a few of them. We parked at the entrance of the street and knocked on the fourth house from the left side. We knocked a few times, and nobody answered. As Elder Willardson placed one of our English class cards in the door, I turned around and saw a hispanic guy driving a small golden car past us and down the street. I hurried to the end of the driveway to spot which house he went to, and turns out he lived in a duplex. As we were scouting, we saw many duplexes and I commented to Elder Willardson that none were hispanic. Me equivoqué. We knocked and he did not answer. Dang it. I looked to my right at the next duplex door over and noticed in the parked car's rearview mirror a rosary. They had got to be hispanic. So we knocked. Almost immediately, this little girl swung open the door. Her mom yelled at her in Spanish and hurried to the door. She was so easy to talk to and so friendly from the get go. We told her who we were and she said she knew. She told us the Elders came to her house all the time in Argentina. I asked her if she was baptized into our church and she said that she was in 1998! Then she moved with her mom and brother to Miami, where they stopped going to church. She did not feel cómodo, because the people never reached out and she felt like an outcast. So sad. We apologized on behalf of the church that this happened, and set something up with her for Tuesday. Her husband is Cuban and is not a member. The Lord for sure put her in our path!

Luke 15 says:
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and
neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

And Jesus while talking to the people in bountiful in 3rd Nephi:
" are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me."

I know for sure that this is the Lord's work. There is no way we could have found her if we were not inspired to go visit the Flores; if they were not inspired to direct us to their friend on that street; if we were not inspired to plan in the day and hour we would go visit the friend; if we were not inspired to follow the hispanic to his house; and if we were not inspired to knock the house next door. She has not come to church since 2001. The Lord knows who his sheep are and will use us as instruments bring them back when the time is right! By the way her name is SHEILA (but pronounced shayla- shout out to mom!)

We went back to Sister Flores to share with her what happened and she was stoked! She told us she wants to be going to the temple every week and needs to be better at scripture study. She set goals with us right then. It is cool how an experience like that can strengthen many people.

Other than that, we have been working hard and we even played soccer with some kids in a trailer park on Saturday! Shared a spiritual thought with them too. They adored us it seemed haha.

On another note, we visited Sandra in Simpsonville and after teaching her, she showed me how to hand sew a tie. Hopefully I will have time to make it this week and show y'all! I also made sausage and cheese biscuits from scratch... soooo good!

Love yall!

Mom'in in the mini-van from Shayla McLaughlin on Vimeo.

P-Day Fun from Shayla McLaughlin on Vimeo.

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